What you feel is anger. But did you ever consider that you might be part of the problem?
Anger is natural.
Let’s start with the acknowledgment that when you’re seeing red, it’s natural. Don’t make the mistake of trying not to feel angry. It won’t do you any good, and could actually do you harm. Why? Because to the extent that you deny one feeling, you deny all feelings. In other words, if you actively try to not feel angry, that denial will also negatively affect your ability to feel other feelings, like happiness. (For the record, there are five major feelings: Mad, Glad, Bad, Sad and Afraid). You wouldn’t want to miss out on your other feelings, right? So don’t try to limit your anger. Go ahead and feel it.
But anger can get ugly.
That said, you don’t want to go off on someone at the bank, just because she was rude to you. That would not be cool. I spoke with a man recently who was working with a teller, and had his mask on, as he should have. But the teller suggested that perhaps the man could slide his mask down for a moment to make a positive ID from the man’s driver’s license. The man in question did as he was asked; but was then chided by the woman standing next to him to get his mask back on, “…because that’s what we’re supposed to be doing now.” Trapped by competing expectations, this guy let a little too much anger out. It wasn’t pretty.
Control your anger now.
So give this a try: practice saying I’m sorry — before you get into the situation — even if you’re in the wrong, or if there is some question about who is in the right. For example, if this guy was better prepared, he could have just rolled out, “I’m sorry. You’re right. I’ll put the mask back on.” No big deal.
And you might say, but that’s wussy. Or just plain wrong. But consider the alternative. This guy who lost his shit on the woman in the bank felt pretty ashamed after his outburst. Sometimes, it pays to pick your battles — before you get into them. Just saying.
Express it elsewhere.
I’m not saying there aren’t times when your anger should be expressed in real time in its full ugliness. There are definitely times to let the full rage out. But most of the time, you’re just frustrated. Deal with the frustration, as a matter of your everyday life. Go climb a mountain, or spend that energy somewhere more appropriate. You’ll feel better in the long run.
Feel your anger, but also prepare for how you express your anger. Man up; you don’t need to be scary most of the time.
Want more help?
I can help you manage your anger and deal with the underlying frustration.
And you have a couple of options for your next step. You could contact me and describe what you’re going through. And I’ll be in touch with suggestions. Or you can book a free session to make a time to get together and talk it over in person. Either way, I’m here to help you focus, overcome resistance, and get moving again.